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Definition of a selling strategy. Importance of personalizing your selling strategy. 7 strategies to grow your business. Helpful tool to supercharge your sales team
A selling strategy is a set of steps that you take in order to make more sales, boost your ROI, and keep your business growing.
Strategies to grow your business involve a lot of effort. In this text, we’ll focus on the most crucial actions and approaches that any vendor can easily integrate into their workflows.
Why do you need a selling strategy
It’s not enough to manufacture top-notch products (or buy them from suppliers) and inform consumers about their characteristics. You need to understand which features of these products your clients find the most relevant and when they will be more likely to buy them.
The price of your products should also match your customers’ expectations, and it would be wise to offer lucrative discounts. Plus, you should offer five-star customer service and convince your audience that they should buy with you and not another vendor.
To make this possible, you should develop a personalized selling strategy. The term “personalization” means that you fine-tune your marketing and sales efforts to the individual preferences and buying habits of each consumer.
If you offer them something that they like and that fits their lifestyle, they should be more eager to order it. 63% of marketers confess that personalization enables them to boost their sales. Personalization across multiple touchpoints can help you increase your ROI by 300% or even more, as over 50% of marketers state.
7 strategies to grow your business
Below, we’ll list the most efficient strategies to expand your business online sales increase in 2022. They should come in handy for companies of nearly any size and industry.
Select the right ecommerce platform
Ecommerce platforms differ greatly in their functionality. When choosing the optimal one, try to estimate the growth potential of your business. The cheapest and easiest way out is to attach a simple checkout platform to your already-existing website.
Such an approach might look less aesthetically appealing, compared to online stores that you build from scratch. Plus, customization opportunities might be limited. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to process payments securely and conveniently.
If you opt for building a simple online store from scratch, you don’t need to have coding or design skills. But if you are planning to scale considerably and/or need advanced customization opportunities, it’s important to have technical expertise. Alternatively, you can hire or outsource an IT team that will take care of your store.
Find your unique selling proposition
As soon as a consumer comes across your product, they should understand the following.
- Why is this item so good and useful?
- What makes it different from other products in the niche?
- What’s the story behind this product?
- Why should they prefer you to any other seller?
Don’t make your customers search for information. They need to grasp your unique selling proposition (USP) at a glance. Consider highlighting the benefits of your product by mentioning them in
- email marketing messages,
- your website’s home page,
- social media ads.
Focus all your marketing efforts on your USP. That will convince people to visit your online store and give your goods or services a try.
Deliver five-star customer service
Use these four tips to improve customer experience in your online store:
- Embed a live chat. During working hours, your team members should strive to answer clients’ questions as promptly as possible.
- Introduce the Virtual Agent Technology to the chat. It’s a plugin that you can activate during non-working hours. When a client submits a query to the chat, the VAT will come up with a selection of the most popular questions and answers to them. Otherwise, you can use an autoresponder that will let your clients know when a human support professional will be able to attend to them.
- Add a contact page on your website. It should feature the link to your live chat, your phone number, email address, links to messengers and social network pages, and any other contacts you find reasonable to share.
- Create a FAQ page. There, consumers should be able to find comprehensive answers to their questions without third-party help.
87% of consumers admit customer experience impacts their buying behavior.
Q. How can I understand that the customer experience in my online store needs to be improved?
A. If many people visit your website but few of them make a purchase, this is a tell-tale sign.
Reduce shipping costs
Consumers are used to the fact that large retailers offer free shipping. Being a small retailer, you can consider these three options:
- Build shipping costs into your products
- Offer free shipping for a minimum order
- Provide a flat rate for shipping upfront
Nearly one-half of all consumers abandon their shopping carts because they’re not ready to pay extra costs, such as shipping. Don’t let the price of shipping become a surprise for your clients at the last stage of the purchasing process.
Create top-notch content
Start a blog on your website where you’ll share useful tips and informative materials with your readers. Instead of speaking only about your products, strive to make your articles helpful for the largest possible audience.
Let’s imagine that you manufacture and sell handmade chocolate. In your blog, you can talk about so many things:
- New unusual tastes of chocolate that have become trendy in various parts of the world
- The effects that chocolate-infused beauty products have on human skin
- Ways of including chocolate in one’s diet if a person wants to lose weight
- Recent scientific discoveries of how chocolate impacts mood and cognitive abilities
When people google these topics, they will come across your website. 65% of all ecommerce sessions start as a result of searching for information online.
To boost your positions in search rankings, include relevant keywords in your blog posts. Use images with the “alt” attribute. Add descriptions, titles, and subheadings to your texts. Make sure new content appears in your blog regularly — once or twice per week.
Put consumer reviews on product pages. 67% of customers pay attention to reviews when making purchasing decisions. Many ecommerce platforms offer in-built functionality for sharing reviews. Ask your clients to leave a text comment about the item they bought and rate it with 1 to 5 stars.
Don’t be afraid of bad reviews. If consumers dislike the product, they will be unlikely to buy it again or recommend it to their friends. Negative feedback is your chance to improve the product or discontinue it before you lose too much funds and your reputation on it. Besides, if people see both positive and negative reviews about an item, they will perceive you as a more trustworthy vendor.
Accompany your product descriptions with high-quality photos. An ideal photo accentuates the visual appeal of an item and showcases its features. Online shoppers typically expect to see 3–4 photos of each product. The reason for 22% of online product returns is that the item looks different in real life than in a photo. Ensure that all photos represent the products accurately.
Q. Do I need to hire a professional photographer for my product catalog?
A. It would be great if you could hire or outsource a professional photographer who specializes in product catalogs. Otherwise, you may complete short photography courses yourself or find photo shooting tips on the Internet.
Focus on design
If your budget is limited, you may want to cut down expenses on anything but the design of your checkout page.
- Keep the text concise.
- Instead of being creative, stick to conventional verbiage and buttons (such as the standard icon of a shopping cart and a Buy button).
- Create an expanding checkout page or break up the checkout into multiple pages — this way, consumers won’t be overwhelmed with the amount of information that they need to provide.
- If you break up the checkout into multiple pages, let the website display a horizontal bar at the top of each page that reveals the progress of the checkout.
- Allow users who haven’t registered on your website to resort to the guest checkout option without filling in long forms.
The design of your online store should be fully responsive. This term means that your website should adapt nicely to mobile devices of all brands, of any size, and with any operating system. At the same time, the functionality of the mobile version should be identical to its desktop counterpart.
Stay in touch with your customers
Staying in touch with your target audience is the foundation of all marketing strategies to expand your business.
Connect with customers through email marketing. The ecommerce platform that your online store is built on can probably collect email addresses of your customers automatically. Besides, you can build popups where consumers can type in their emails in exchange for discounts, free shipping, access to exclusive sales, or other perks. Customers will appreciate it if you send informative email containing
- useful tips,
- industry digests,
- latest news and trends, etc.
The ideal frequency of sending out newsletters might vary from once per week to once per month.
Q. Is it okay to sell products through newsletters?
A. Yes. For instance, when listing this season’s trends, you can recommend products from your store that match these trends. Or, if you lack useful information for your next newsletter, you can send out personalized discounts to your recipients.
52% of all online brand discovery takes place in public social feeds. By consistently posting new content on social media, you’ll improve the loyalty of your already existing clients and will be able to attract new ones. Over 90% of Instagram users confess that they purchased an item, visited its website, or followed the brand after seeing an aesthetically pleasing photo or video of that product on the platform.
Connect your online store to social media accounts. That will enable customers to make purchases right from the social platform. Add checkout links to your posts and let customers choose the optimal payment method. For instance, on Instagram, people can buy goods from their feed without leaving the app.
Listen to your clients
No matter which of the strategies to grow an online business you focus on, it’s vital to gather feedback from your clients and keep continuously analyzing their behavior. Here are the most popular techniques that you might want to try.
Talk to your customers
If you have an outlet or office, feel free to ask your visitors about their tastes, plans, and expectations. Avoid being pushy and striving to sell something to each client by all means. Instead, prove that you’re genuinely interested in their personalities and would love to make their lives better.
Analyze purchasing patterns and preferences
You can rely on your point of sale (POS) systems and analytics tools in your online store to find out the following:
- How frequently does a certain person buy something from you?
- What do they buy?
- Which items did they buy just once? Which ones do they keep purchasing repeatedly?
- How much do they usually spend?
- When do they tend to spend more than usual and on which items?
Whenever a client reaches out to you by phone, email, or online chat, use this chance to ask them questions. Are they happy with their previous purchases? What advantages and disadvantages of your products seem paramount to them? If they’re not ready to place an order right now, which price of your goods or services would seem acceptable to them?
Find out how customers find your store and leverage that data
Let’s imagine that you manufacture and sell hand-made perfumed candles. Here is an example of how you can leverage the data about your sources of traffic:
- You notice that a lot of traffic comes from blogs in the niche of beauty and wellbeing.
- You realize that little traffic comes from ads in a particular social network.
- Stop placing ads on that network and invest more money in creating articles for top-performing blogs.
Google Analytics can reveal the primary sources of customer traffic to your website.
Ask your friends and family members to test your online store
Every time you change something about your website, ask your dearest and nearest to test it and share their sincere opinion with you:
- How efficiently did webpages adapt to the displays of their devices?
- Did they find the design that was appealing enough?
- Was it convenient for them to push all the buttons?
- Which elements would they love to improve?
- Were there any errors?
These are the three most common areas where users discover errors:
- Product navigation
- Search feature
You may also ask your closest ones to share links to third-party websites which, from their viewpoints, could serve you as references.
Q. Do people whom I ask to test my website have to be a part of my target audience?
A. Ideally, yes. But if you sell hoodies for teens and you know your grandma is an ace in discovering bugs in online stores, feel free to ask her for help!
Try cross-store selling
We list this technique separately from other strategies to grow a business because it requires a completely different approach. Plus, it makes sense to resort to it only when you’ve ticked all the previous boxes: found a unique USP, create high-quality content, stay in touch with your audience, and so on.
Cross-store selling means that you team up with a brand that sells products similar to yours and sell them in your online store.
|What you sell||What your partner sells|
|Shoes||Shoe care products|
This way, you will benefit from each other’s marketing efforts, especially since this technique requires minimum investment. It also enables you to considerably expand your audience and improve brand awareness. Here’s the best thing: you won’t need to take care of inventory management, delivery, and other aspects of your partner’s trade.
Final thoughts. Supercharge your sales team with our product
Hopefully, now you better understand how to use strategies to increase online sales.
As an additional measure, consider trying cross-store selling. Collabica will help you find optimal partners who can efficiently sell your products cross-store. Over 500 brands already use this platform. Thanks to the Collabica app, you can expect to increase your average order value by 15%.